Car Tune-Up Opinions

I have a Nissan X-Terra SUV. It’s a 2001 with 92,000 miles on the odometer, but the engine has just 50,000 (to make a long story short: Nissan dealership screwed up and ruined the original engine, they installed new long-block 6 cylinder Nissan engine).

I know that I need rear brakes and the usual oil, fluids, alignment, and tire rotation stuff done . . . I also know that a Nissan dealer will ream me royally for every belt/spark plug/hourly labor stuff they can get away with “finding.” I have a good indie mechanic, but I don’t want to give him free rein and end up paying for stuff I don’t really need done now.

So, what should I ask to have done, with 50k on the engine? The vehicle runs really well, no scary noises or changes in power, etc. Do I do the usual maintenance and put a few thousand in savings to take care of things as they go wrong?

Yup. Get the brakes done, change the oil and filter, align and rotate the tires only if needed. Generally speaking the “tune-up” is a thing of the past and a huge waste of money.

The engine replacement is really not relevant to the items listed for this vehicle’s 90,000 mile service. At 105,000 miles it calls for replacing the spark plugs and timing belt. These might or might not have been replaced with the engine - find out which, and proceed accordingly at 105 K.

If he’s truly a good mechanic, he won’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need. Just make sure he knows the service history of the vehicle.